IIFYM: Can it work for you?

There is always a new type of fad diet or exercise program that shows up each year that promises weight loss or muscle gain by just following a specific plan.  Some have been a disaster and others have had some merit and continue to be staples in households all over the world.  The newest program that has been circulating the bodybuilding and fitness world is called IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros.  This program utilizes a formula to calculate your Daily Caloric Requirement and Macro-nutrient breakdown according to your age, height, weight, and body fat percentage.  It gives you the option of tailoring the requirements so that you can maintain your weight, gain muscle (bulking), or lose weight.   The biggest “Pro” for this plan is that it leaves room for what many consider cheat foods.  Hence the name, If it fits your macros. So, essentially yes, you can have a burger instead of the sandwich, if it is within your macro-nutrient calculation. The same goes with all of your favorite cheat foods: pizza, tacos, even alcohol. There are many athletes and bodybuilders that swear by it and there are others that have reported nothing but fat gains.  So what makes it work for one and not the other?
  • You must follow the calorie and more specifically the macro-nutrient calculation exactly as it recommends for your goals.
  • You must weight your food. It is impossible to receive the accurate portion of protein, carb, fat and fiber if you have not weighed your food prior to consumption.
  • You can only enjoy  donuts if you have enough fat left for the donuts. The same goes for other high carb or high fat content food.
  • Understand that flexibility is both a pro and con. Yes it is nice to have a cheat food every now and then, but it is still considered an unhealthy food for a reason.  Too much cheating can derail all the work you have put in.
  • You will not eat back the calories that you burn during exercise.  This is already calculated in with the formula
For some, IIFYM is a great tool, allowing for flexibility and an escape from the redundant meal plans that they have been used to in the past.  For others, though, it can be an excuse to make bad food choices and chalk it up to a faulty plan.  To learn more or to get your IIFYM calculations you can click here.  

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